It is not advisable for cats to eat pepperoni because of the way it is prepared.
Pepperoni is a type of cured meat consisting of beef, pork, or a combination of the two. Technically speaking, your cat can eat both plainly cooked beef and pork with some conditions. However, when it comes to making pepperoni, common ingredients such as salt, chili peppers, red wine, black pepper, and cinnamon are used to cure the meat. All of these are not good for pet consumption, so it follows that pepperoni is not good for your cat. Moreover, pepperoni is high in saturated fat and sodium, making it a poor source of protein for cats.
What to do if your cat accidentally eats pepperoni: Licking a piece of pepperoni may not harm your cat. But if the topping was taken from your pizza or other dishes, it may cause some health problems. This is particularly true if the dish contains toxic ingredients such as garlic and onions. PetCoach states that an upset stomach may occur, manifesting as vomiting and diarrhea. When this happens, contact your veterinarian for advice.
When a cat eats too much pepperoni, the sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite used to preserve it can cause various symptoms. Constant urination, incoordination, shortness of breath, muscular tremors, and cyanotic mucous membranes may occur in cats. In extreme cases, they may even collapse or have a heart attack/stroke.
In summary: Due to its ingredients and nutritional content, pepperoni is an unhealthy protein choice for cats. If you want to treat your pet to a piece of meat, give her chicken or turkey instead. Stick to the white meat portion and be sure it’s unflavoured and fully cooked (boiled, baked, or steamed).
Browse through our “can cats eat” category to learn which human foods you can safely feed your pet.